There must be so many people around the world, who hate winter due only to upper respiratory infections that almost always occur in cold weathers. These infectious diseases – such as the flu and the common cold – bring about various ailments; cough, nasal congestion, fever, headache and to name but a few. But, among these ailments, sore throat is arguably one of the most disturbing ones.
Even though a sore throat – broadly speaking – is not a sign of a serious disease, it literally decreases quality of life for a certain period of time.
Sometimes, the pain in the throat can be strong enough to prevent people from speaking and swallowing.
The good news is that if you are suffering from a sore throat, there are things you can do to relieve the pain and irritation.
We compiled 9 best methods you can apply at home to get rid of a sore throat. Let’s go through these effective methods.
Note: if the problem persists more than a week, it is wise for you to consult your doctor.
1- Drink Lukewarm Water
First and foremost, if you suffer from a sore throat, you should focus on drinking plenty of water.
Aim to drink at least 2 litres of water daily to keep your throat moist. This will soothe the itchiness and pain, moreover, will thin the mucus thus preventing mucus to cause itchiness in the throat.
However, what you should be careful is water should be neither cold nor hot. Otherwise, you can unwittingly worsen the irritation in the throat.
What’s more, staying away from certain beverages like coffee, alcohol or tea will contribute to the recovery process.
2- Gargle with Salt Water
Gargling with salt water is one of the easiest and most effective ways to relieve a sore throat. This easy-to-prepare mixture can thin mucus secretion.
Another property of salt water is to be able to create a difficult environment for bacteria to survive in the mouth.
Salt water’s effectiveness of relieving sore throat was confirmed even by the American Cancer Society.
As for the preparation; add half a teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of water and stir it until the salt dissolves in the water. You can gargle your mouth with this mixture 2 to 4 times a day.
Furthermore, make sure you are using lukewarm water to gargle.
3- Avoid Cigarette Smoke
We tend to think that flu, common cold and other infectious disease are the culprits for sore throat. While they are the main causes of sore throat, there are other factors that cause sore throat, for instance, tobacco use. The thing is smoking alone can be strong enough to irritate the throat.
Therefore, smoking would be the biggest mistake when you have an already infected throat. Additionally, being exposed to cigarette smoke, too, can irritate the nasal airways.
So, avoid both smoking and exposure to second-hand tobacco, otherwise, your recovery time may prolong.
4- Use a Humidifier
Especially, in winter months indoor humidity level tends to be low. There two main reasons for this low humidity level. Firstly, the cold winter air contains lower humidity compared to the hot summer air. Secondly, heating tools at home dry the indoor air out and decrease the humidity level inside.
The problem is: the low humidity levels indoor can potentially irritate your throat and may worsen the problem. Therefore, it is useful to know how to increase the humidity level at home.
The best method is to use a humidifier machine/device that increases the indoor humidity level. As an alternative to humidifier, you can place a bowl of water on your heater to increase indoor humidity level.
5- Avoiding Speaking Loudly
At the beginning of the post, we said sore throat can be painful enough to interfere with speaking. Despite this pain, if you – for any reason – force yourself to speak loudly or to yell at someone or something, you may severely damage your already inflamed vocal cords.
For this reason, you should avoid speaking loudly with a sore throat as much as possible.
6- Prevent Heartburn
Acid reflux, also known as heartburn, is a lesser-known cause of sore throat.
If you have acid reflux, that means your stomach acid can travel up to the mouth, therefore, can irritate your throat.
While acid reflux is already one of the sore throat causes, it can also further damage the throat if you have a sore throat due to an infection. Therefore, it is wise to prevent acid reflux, especially as suffering from a sore throat.
To prevent stomach acid from travelling up to the throat, you need to avoid eating a large portion 2 to 3 hours close to bedtime. Plus, try to reduce your stress level and sleep with an extra pillow.
Moreover, you may want to avoid acid inducing foods and beverages like citrus fruits, soft drinks and coffee.
7- Consume Lukewarm Food
Eating the right foods – while dealing with a respiratory tract infection – can help your body to get rid of the bacteria and viruses.
However, experts warn: consuming either cold or hot foods can further irritate the throat, hence, increase the pain.
Prefer soft and warm foods until the pain in the throat goes away.
Even though garlic discredited by many due to the odour it leaves in the mouth, it has been used and consumed for thousands of years by many communities treat various ailments.
Garlic has both antibacterial and healing properties. Therefore, you may consider consuming garlic if you have a sore throat.
Furthermore, garlic can give a boost to your immune system, which may be what you need when dealing with an infection.
9- Lemon- Ginger Honey Tea
As an alternative to water, it would be sensible to drink lemon-ginger honey tea – prepared warm water – to soothe your throat.
The ingredients in this mixture are individually benefical for throat. When they are combined, they can be quite effective.
Honey has a throat soothing effect. Lemon, as we all know, is packed with vitamin C and lastly ginger has mucus thinning property.
To prepare this throat soothing tea: mix 2 spoons of honey and the juice of half a lemon with a teaspoon of ginger powder. Thereafter, add lukewarm water in this mixture and stir it in a glass or a jar.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.